Undergraduate and Graduate Projects

Project Name

Short Description


The Althingi Bell

Speeches at Althingi are sometimes interrupted by the speaker’s bell indicating that the allotted time is over.  The project focuses on 1) developing an algorithm that detects the bell, 2) evaluating how well that algorithm does (by calculating false positives/negatives on labelled data), 3) Re-labeling these utterances with a "bell" phoneme and see if the ASR can't learn to detect it, 4) attenuating the bell using filtering and evaluate by listening tests and ASR performance.

Jon Gudnason

ASR for underperforming speaker

The specific way a person pronounces certain words and phonemes, or the choice of words and their concatenation into sentences influence the performance of speech recognition. The task is to build a custom ASR for people who experience a subpar recognition performance for one of our existing ASR systems. The reasons can include mumbling, trailing off sentences, incorrect grammar, incorrect pronunciation, or other reasons. The project will focus on training and adapting acoustic and language models based on observed speaker characteristics.

Robert Kjaran, Jon Gudnason

Foreign named entities in Icelandic texts

Foreign words in Icelandic texts do not follow the same letter-to-sound rules as Icelandic words. Names like ‘George’ or ‘New York’ therefore cannot be automatically transcribed using a model trained on Icelandic words and pronunciations. The task of this project is to manually transcribe common named entities from parliamentary speeches and/or news articles. Further, to examine how unknown foreign entities can be detected and automatically transcribed.

Anna Nikulasdottir, Jon Gudnason

Risamálheild phone distribution

Using patterns of diphones and triphones in Icelandic, compute the distribution of diphones and triphones (grapheme based) in the corpus "Risamálheild". Extract sentences with good di-/triphone coverage to use in TTS and ASR training and testing.

Anna Nikulasdottir, Jon Gudnason

Detect silence and breathy voice activity

The main objective is to distinguish between loud breathing and breathy voice events in recordings of pathological speech and audio recordings containing snoring. The assumption is that snoring is mainly a harmonic signal while heavy breathing is mostly noisy signal. The model will be utilized for snoring and voice quality assessment.

Michal Borsky, Jon Gudnason

Improved Automatic QC for Eyra/Voice

Fine tune the QC on Eyra to either work with the Mozilla Voice project or to involve some human evaluations as well after the first pass of the QC. QC can currently be started with the touch of a button. However, work needs to be done to make its results usable for accurate language modeling with minimal effort.

Judy Fong, Jon Gudnason

End-to-end speech recognition

A 800 hour data set of Alþingi speeches and transcripts is available in a format fitting for tensorflow, and multiple end-to-end algorithms exist online. Train an automatic speech recognizer (ASR) and compare the quality and speed with a more traditionally trained ASR for the Alþingi dataset.

Inga Run, Jon Gudnason 

Code switching

Code-switching occurs when a speaker switches between languages or dialects sometimes multiple times end often in mid-sentence.  An important example of this is spoken Icelandic which is increasingly used with English words and phrases interjected where needed.  Language technology for Icelandic needs to be able to handle code switching if it is to be useful in practice.  The objective of the project is therefore to implement a bilingual code model using state-of-the-art methods and investigate how these approaches need to be adapted to tailor for Icelandic peculiarities.

Jon Gudnason

Analysing EEG, Cardiovascular and speech for CWM

The project focuses on analysing Electroencephalography (EEG) during reading and relate the outcome to cognitive workload.  Ten participants undertook cognitive workload task by reading text aloud and in silence during which an EEG recording was made.  The objective is to identify patterns in the EEG signal that indicate cognitive workload related to the tasks and the reading process of the participants.

Eydis Magnusdottir,

Jon Gudnason

Estimating the difficulty level in ATC

The job of air traffic controllers is to direct flights safely and efficiently across a designated sector.  The state of the sector can be characterized by the location, type  and velocity vectors of each aircraft as well as extrinsic variables such as weather.  The state can be considered to be easy if it has for example few aircrafts flying in parallel directions or difficult if it has many aircrafts with many paths crossing.  The objective of the project is to map the characterized sector onto a difficulty level using machine learning.  The results can be used either in operation to control workload or in simulation to achieve a set of pedagogical goals.

Eydis Magnusdottir,

Jon Gudnason

Rescoring ASR output using a word-tag language model

Icelandic words can take different forms depending on gender, number and case. Automatic speech recognizers (ASR) often get the word correct but, not the word ending. However, grammatical rules can help determine the correct form of a word in a sentence. It is interesting to research whether including grammatical knowledge, e.g. morphological features, will improve the correctness of an ASR.

Anna Nikulasdottir, Inga Run, Jon Gudnason

Language model adaptation by topic

Language models are statistical models based on word frequency in text. In the case of the Althingi speech recognizer, the language model is trained on a big text corpus of speech transcripts. In Althingi there is, however, often a schedule available over the upcoming discussions. Develop a language model adaptation procedure and check if the speech recognition transcripts improve if we adapt the language model to the relevant discussion topic. Report also on the time the language model adaptation takes.

Anna Nikulasdottir, Inga Run, Jon Gudnason

Machine translation with deep learning

The purpose of this project is to learn the concept of deep learning in the context of machine translation.  The student uses some existing deep learning toolkit (e.g. Tensorflow) and some parallel corpora for training and testing.

Hrafn Loftsson 

Full parsing with machine learning

Greynir ( has been developed using a context-free grammar, containing thousands of rules.  In this project, Greynir is used to construct a training corpus which is then used by a parser to learn from.  The underlying machine learning technique could be based on statistics or deep learning.

Hrafn Loftsson 

Error detection in corpus

Risamálheild ( contains about 1.3 billion tokens of texts stored in a standard format.  Each token is tagged with a word class and morphological features.  In this project, the student develops methods for detecting (and possibly correcting) tagging errors in the corpus.

Hrafn Loftsson 

Tagging experiments

The Gold ( is a tagged corpus containing about 1 million tokens.  The words in the texts have been tagged with automatic methods and hand-corrected afterwards.  In this project, several taggers are trained and tested on the Gold and accuracies compared.

Hrafn Loftsson

Airline ticket ordering using voice commands in Icelandic

The expected outcome of this project is an extension to Icelandair’s booking system.  The user would activate voice search on and utter a command such as :  "Reykjavík til Boston 16. júní 2018.  Til baka 22. júní 2018."  The utterance is converted to text using Icelandic ASR and analysed using natural language processing.  Successful analysis results in boxes on the website being filled out correctly. This project is funded by Icelandair.

Jón Guðnason